Twitter Spaces Experimenting With Voice Transformer
something fun & playful our team has been working on. what are *creative* ways we can utilize voice for more engaging convos on Spaces? how would you use these tools?
— Danny Singh (@Mr_DannySingh) July 22, 2021
Twitter Spaces is planning to launch a vocal modulated to change how people sound when talking on the social audio platform. The Voice Transformer will give users a variety of choices for what they sound like, as confirmed in a tweet from Twitter’s Danny Singh after social media researcher Jane Manchun Wong tweeted evidence of it she had previously obtained.
Voice Transformer will allow people to design a new way for their voice to sound during Spaces conversations. The video and Wong’s tweet show options for manually adjusting pitch and adding reverb, echos, and other special effects., There will also be templates of voices to sound like animals or built around other themes, as seen in the video. The point appears to be to make people feel more comfortable speaking up on Spaces if they don’t like their own voice or are just self-conscious and shy about speaking up. It could also tempt those who might have reason to disguise their voice, although that would require a more elaborate system of throwaway Twitter accounts.
Twitter’s product ecosystem has been through some significant changes this year. Spaces opened the social audio door even as the company decided to shut down its Snapchat and Instagram Story doppelganger Fleets. The voice modulator represents a kind of bridge between old and new Twitter products. The Periscope livestreaming platform for Twitter first published a test version of Voice Transformer four years ago. Twitter Spaces engineer Richard Plom confirmed the connection in a tweet after Wong and others speculated on the relationship. Plom, who previously helped develop Periscope’s audio livestreaming and background audio features, said the prototype was shelved for another time, which happens to be now.
Voice Transformer was originally prototyped in Periscope in 2017. We decided it to save it for later, later is now.
— Richard Plom (@RichardPlom) July 23, 2021
The Periscope prototype included modulations to make voices sound like dragons, fairies, aliens, and frogs. MacRumors’ Steve Moser found evidence the first options will include Cartoon, Bee, Incognito, Helium, Microphone, Karaoke, Spatial, Phone, Stage, and Stadium voices, but the catalog may differ on release, and Twitter may continue to add more options. The initial lineup is fairly expansive, though, meaning Spaces will sound very different indeed once people can use the Voice Transformer.